Bell Canada Rings Up Ericsson for Upgraded TV Platform

Ericsson Media Solutions and Bell Canada have inked an expanded multi-year deal that paves the way for the Canadian telco to build and launch a new multiscreen TV service powered by the vendor’s cloud-based MediaFirst platform.

The deal will bring personalized and converged multiscreen services to more than 1.5 million Fibe TV and Alt TV subs in Canada, they said.

Bell Canada has been using Mediaroom, the IPTV platform Ericsson acquired from Microsoft in the fall of 2013. MediaFirst is a next-gen, cloud-powered IP video platform that covers TVs as well as web browsers, smartphones and tablets.

“When integrated with Mediaroom, MediaFirst will deliver an agile, next generation TV platform with the necessary flexibility to easily incorporate third party apps,” they said.

Telus, another Canadian service provider that has previously used Mediaroom, is also upgrading to MediaFirst to augment Optik TV, its full-freight, managed IPTV service. Telus is also using Ericson’s MediaFirst platform to power Pik TV, an IP-delivered skinny bundle service that was introduced last April that runs smartphones, tablets and an Android TV-powered box sold by Telus for C$100.

RELATED: Telus Soft-Launches Skinny Bundle IPTV Service

Other announced MediaFirst customers include J:COM, Japan's largest cable operator, and Canada's SaskTel. 

A set of Canadian cable service providers – Shaw Communications, Rogers Communications and Videotron – are moving ahead with next-gen, multiscreen pay TV services that are powered by Comcast’s X1 platform. In the U.S., Cox Communications is also using an X1 syndication deal to underpin its new Contour pay TV service.

RELATED: Videotron to Use Comcast’s X1 Platform to Power New IPTV Service